I don’t eat meat. I know, I know– “Oh my gosh, how do you do that?” “Do you just not like meat?” “I could never do that” “Don’t you ever want a steak?” I’ve heard it all. It’s really not a big deal on a daily basis. The vegetarian lifestyle is right for me, not for everyone. But in an emergency situation, my vegetarianism could become an issue. In an emergency, everything is a big deal.
Here are some tips on making a vegetarian emergency kit.
Every kit should have the basics. At least three days worth of:
• First aid materials
• Protective clothing and bedding
• Special items
Non-meat protein sources are the most important consideration when you are thinking about vegetarian food in an emergency. If the vegetarian in your life eats fish, you can include canned tuna or salmon. If they do not eat fish, you need to think about other viable protein sources.
Canned beans are an obvious option. When packing emergency food, think about variety, you don’t want to be eating the same thing for days on end. Try cans of kidney, pinto, great northern, garbanzo, black and vegetarian baked beans, for quick protein sources. Most canned beans can be eaten straight out of the can, and do not require cooking.
Nuts are another protein rich, non-perishable food item. Avoid the super salty mixed nut varieties, as the excessive salt in these kinds can contribute to dehydration. Opt for low-sodium mixes of high-protein nuts like almonds, filberts (hazelnuts), peanuts, chestnuts, pistachios, walnuts, cashews and pecans. Other, less obvious, high-protein options include peanut butter, almond butter or marmite (a spread made from the by-product of yeast). You can also include dried seeds, such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds, as they are high-protein snacks. There are even vegetarian jerky strips!
Remember to think about special diet needs, such as vegetarian diets and food allergies, when you are creating your family’s emergency supply kit. Oregon Trail’s Red Cross Chapter has a great article on building a Gluten-Free emergency kit.